There is this weird sound, like when the edges of a paper curl up, charred by the flames as they continue to rise and flicker across its width.
It’s 3 AM and a lonely dog howls on…
The road has almost been destroyed by the indifferent and callous work done – there are deep ditches which the rain fills up…A few stray cars pass by, splashing water as their wheels fall in and out of those holes. Has it ever struck you how similar the sound of distant traffic or a truck speeding off is, to a slightly noisier version of a strong wind coming through and fading away?
All through this, the clock ticks on relentlessly.
The only sound which signifies stillness, somehow stands out. Odd right? Nothing signifies silence and night-time like the sound of a clock ticking. But to me, sometimes it seems like an oddity…perhaps because it’s not as distant as the other sounds? Doesn’t merge with the background and become a part of it.
A plane flies by. And I type on.
A lamp is lighting up each corner and giving the room a warm glow – just the right atmosphere. So cosy. I type a sentence from time to time and take a breather to look to the side, flexing my fingers, my hands holding each other.
To my left, the chair is exactly as Dad had left it, when he got up. Half-turned, facing the room, with the cushion pushed in. The cushion on the settee too, is crushed where mum had leaned on it. It’s a lived in house.
The sound of the clock has mellowed a little, if that’s the word I am looking for? It doesn’t stand out all the time. Sometimes it loses its edge.
That’s when I like time. When it flows.
Sometimes though, I don’t realise how far I already am from the edge of the pool. Here I was thinking that I had just pushed off the edge, wondering whether I was breathing right and here I was already near the end of my lap.
Just the other day, I realized that I had spent each of my last 3 birthdays in office, no plans. And I have a blast generally – pretty much all days except those. Weird.
I like it low key. If anyone sent me flowers and cake in office, I’d think they obviously didn’t know me well enough and it would stay that way. But this was weird even by my standards. Just the fact that I was in office working on excel sheets or going from email to email, is rubbish. And it’s not like I didn’t have plans then. Just that I planned around holidays, or family etc. I had more satisfying weekends for crying out loud.
So this year, if I should do anything different with the next one not so far off, I resolve to be aware. To be aware of the time and do with it what I want to, when I want to. That doesn’t mean I will be rushing through desperately, trying to “catch up”. There is nothing to “catch up” on. But I don’t want my experience of time to be the tailored, in your face, inconsequential mundane sort, about things that don’t matter. After all,
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
— Astronomer Carl Sagan
It is so very very odd that all this while, I was thinking of day 10 assignment. I was wondering where I could base my assignment. I thought this every night as I sat down to write, every time I looked at the list of the remaining assignments…However, no other scene came to life.
I went to many cafes meanwhile – mostly in good company, without my tools and the thought didn’t even strike me. I went to work and was surrounded by people, conversations, scenes for stories… and nothing came of it.
Weird how tonight I am in the exact spot I weeknights at and this, of all the ones that I thought would have but didn’t, this, has come to life.
Perhaps it always was alive and I just didn’t notice it?
This place and this space has meant more to me and had more impact on my daily life, than any single experience in the past 3 weeks. I used to stay up late earlier as well, reading, watching movies, just browsing…but it felt different then. Coming back here and figuring out some time, thinking or going blank till suddenly, a random thought jumped up and just had to be penned down, helped me somehow unwind more than anything else.
I transitioned from waiting eagerly to get back to the next assignment and comments, to looking forward to writing even when I thought I couldn’t possibly and now, to the knowledge that there is a quiet space where I can go to, when I want to. It’s complete and fulfilling. I feel content.
So here’s to adding some orange…